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Champions League Preview: AC Milan v Celtic

An injury depleted AC Milan side limps into Champions League action against Celtic. Can Milano overcome their injury woes to get the three points at home that they need?

milan

Team News
AC Milan

  • Milan will be without 8 players, most of whom are defenders, so Allegri will only have one option for his back line.
  • The coach is expected to pick a 4-3-1-2 with Robinho or Birsa in the trequartista role, and Poli in midfield.
  • Should the former Sampdoria man not recover from a minor injury suffered in the action that led to the penalty against Toro, then one of Constant or Emanuelson could join the midfield.

Celtic

  • Neil Lennon should choose a 4-5-1 as he often does in European matches, especially when travelling.
  • Pukki will therefore be the lone striker, but Stokes is ready to either partner up with the international from Finland or take his place if need be.
  • Matthews could be ruled out for the match, otherwise he may be in competition for a spot at either full-back or on the wing on the right side.

Prediction

  • Milan are in troubled waters with their injuries as well as the lack of any attacking idea and the transition from a poorly used 4-3-3 to an even more outdated 4-3-1-2 that seems to have been imposed on the manager by the club. Kakà’s arrival was expected to bring a boost in morale but he got injured after a poor performance against Torino.
  • Celtic struggled more than they were expected to in the double header with Shakther Karagandy in the playoff, but then their superior experience in European battles prevailed over the naivety of their opponents.
  • Both sides have made history in the most important European competition but they have to get back their true affinity with the Champions League. Milan still look better equipped despite their absences, while Celtic seem to be in better form, perhaps due to a less challenging domestic league. Milan will probably struggle to start and will rely mostly on Balotelli. Celtic should try to cut the passing supply to the Italian forward and play on the counter attack in order to get a useful point in Milan, or even something more.

Score: AC Milan Celtic 1

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